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PM HARRIS: We Will Not Put A Price On Justice…Creating A More Wholesome Society Demands Certainty In The Criminal Justice System!

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At last week’s press conference Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris said his administration’s decision to expedite the replacement of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Travers Sinanan, was out of a “desperate need to rescue” the criminal justice system. “The positive action which the Team Unity government has taken to resolve the tenure of the former DPP has brought stability, it has brought finality and it has allowed for forward movement in relation to criminal prosecution. The criminal justice system is best served by a high performing office of the DPP.”

Dr. Harris defended the government’s action in the face of onerous, escalating public expenditure related to cases of wrongful arrest and incarceration. “The last criminal assizes, I am advised by people in the legal fraternity, showed a very poor performance by the office of the DPP. 3 out of 35 cases were tried. 32 cases were traversed to the current September assizes…In the May assizes, I am advised that 5 matters were nolle prossed by the former DPP, Mr Sinanan. The consequence of these actions and others is that claims just under $10 million to date confront the taxpayers of this country…Appropriation Warrants for unlawful arrest for 2014 was about $11 million. Eleven million in 2014 and 10 million in 2015 add up to a desperate need to rescue the criminal justice system…Certainly, we could not allow this unnecessary haemorrhage on the public purse to continue.”

The Prime Minister announced that a renowned Queen’s Counsel has been recruited by the government to assist the Office of the DPP in defense of law and order. “A third announcement in the area of law and order is for me to inform the country that Dane Hamilton Q.C., a well-known criminal attorney, is here in St Kitts and Nevis. He is here on special assignment with us for the criminal assizes and other matters in relation to the criminal justice system…Dane Hamilton’s support is a constructive boost to the criminal justice system and much tutoring and mentoring will be had by those in the office of the DPP on request.…By drawing on the expertise and experience of Dane Hamilton, one of the regions finest, we free the criminal justice system for the delivery of efficacious outcomes.”

PM Harris declared that creation of a more wholesome society requires certainty in the criminal justice system and his administration will hold back nothing in preserving rule of law. “We will not put a price on justice. We are prepared to go all the way to protect our citizens and residents and to preserve the sanctity of the justice system in general and the criminal justice system in particular… My Government then in the matter of the DPP acted at the right time and in the interest of the criminal justice system.”

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